After a four-month hype period that makes the two weeks before Super Bowl seem like the blink of an eye, nine of the world's top poker players sit down to decide the World Series of Poker Main Event champion today.
When the table was set back in July, pro J.C. Tran was the chip leader and made the early favorite in WSOP odds. With $38 million in chips gathered from a week of table action earlier this summer, he is the 9/5 favorite, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
"It's not just the nine players at the table with a chance to profit, because the books will offer fun props on who will win so any poker fan can drop a friendly wager," Dean Stone, a poker writer with OnlineTexasHoldem.ca, said in an interview Sunday.
The nine remaining players, their chip stacks and odds on winning the 2013 Main Event are as follows:
- J.C. Tran – 9/5 ($38,000,000)
- Amir Lehavot – 9/2 ($29,700,000)
- Marc McLaughlin – 5/1 ($26,525,000)
- Ryan Riess – 6/1 ($25,875,000)
- Jay Farber – 7/1 ($25,975,000)
- Sylvain Loosli – 8/1 ($19,600,000)
- Michiel Brummelhuis – 13/1 ($11,275,000)
- Mark Newhouse – 15/1 ($7,350,000)
- David Benefield – 15/1 ($6,375,000)
J.C. Tran is the player with the most chips going into the action that will commence Monday. He is also the most accomplished professional player in the field, having cashed at the WSOP more than 40 times and winning two bracelets along the way.
But this is poker, and anything can happen. So the 9/5 odds on him to win still seem a bit slim considering that luck will come into play as much as skill will before the new champion is determined.
Action on Marc McLaughlin, Ryan Riess and Jay Farber is coming with a much better payday, and those options look to have more value than Tran odds. David Benefield, Mark Newhouse and Michiel Brummelhuis all have very small chip stacks and will be forced to get their chips in the middle in the early going if they stand a chance at winning it all.
Their odds payday is bigger, but with blinds of $200,000 and $400,000 when play resumes, those small stacks will need some good luck to become contenders.
The winner will take down the $8.3 million first-place prize plus a WSOP Main Event Bracelet worth another $500k. The other payouts are as follows;
- 2nd place: $5,173,170
- 3rd place: $3,727,023
- 4th place: $2,791,983
- 5th place: $2,106,526
- 6th place: $1,600,792
- 7th place: $1,225,224
- 8th place: $944,593
- 9th place: $733,224